Websites & More Websites: Lawson/Hattendorf

Websites and More Websites

American Name Society

New York City, December 2002

Edwin D. Lawson

State University of New York College at Fredonia

At ICOS21 in Uppsala, there was a special session on publications that I chaired along with assistance from Pierre-Henri Billy (Université de Toulouse), Dunja Brozović-Rončević, and Dietlind Krüger (University of Leipzig). There were discussions on bibliographies, online publication, and websites. Lynn Hattendorf-Westney had prepared a listing of websites. This was well received. I undertook to incorporate additional websites that were mentioned at the session and added others.

For assistance in the preparation of the additional listing, I wish to acknowledge with thanks the contributions of Philip Dance (University of Portsmouth, UK), Cleveland Kent Evans (Bellevue College), Marsha Flett (State University of New York, College at Fredonia), Lynn C. Hattendorf Westney (University of Illinois-Chicago), Helen Kerfoot (Canadian Society for the Study of Names), Zhonghua Li (Ocean University of Qingdao, China), Val McLane (University of Sunderland), Bertie Neethling (University of the Western Cape, South Africa), Magdolna Nemes (University of Debrecen),Mariusz Rutkowski (Uniwersytet Warminsko-Mazurski, Poland), Jennifer Scherr (University of Bristol) and any others I may have inadvertently missed.

Two parts will follow this brief introduction: (1)the Hattendorf listing, and (2) a second subsequent listing. We hope these sites will prove to be useful.

Part 1

A Selective Bibliography of International Web Sites

Relating to

Toponyms, Anthroponyms and Miscellaneous Name Sites

For use in Conducting Onomastic Research

{Originally prepared for ICOS 2002, Uppsala, Sweden, August 2002.

Compiled by

Lynn C. Hattendorf Westney,

Associate Professor

University of Illinois at Chicago

Richard J. Daley Library (MC/234)

Box 8198, Chicago, IL 60680-8198


Place Names (Toponyms)

Aboriginal Place Names: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

(note the space between 106 and e has an underline)

The name of Canada itself, and the names of some provinces and territories, come from place names in Aboriginal languages. Many Canadian towns, cities, rivers and mountains also have names that come from Aboriginal sources.

Aussie Placename Hypocoristics:

Hypocoristics of Place-names in Australian English

Hypocoristics refers to the formation and use of pet names, often referred to as "baby talk." This is an unusual and amusing site which identifies place name nicknames in Australia.

The Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CGNDB)

Canadian Geographical Names / Les noms géographiques du Canada

The Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CGNDB) is the data bank of Canada's

geographical names, maintained by the Geographical Names Section, part of the Centre for Topographic Information, Geomatics Canada, Natural Resources Canada. Its purpose is to store names (over 500,000 currently) that have been

approved by the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names (CPCGN) and to make these authoritative records available for government and public use. Published in both English and French.

Chinese Conventional Place Names

The Library of Congress revised the Chinese place names currently established in a conventional English-language form similar to the form used by the United States Board on Geographic Names. This process began in August, 1998 when the

Library conducted a pilot project to test the feasibility of making these changes. This list appeared in Cataloging Service Bulletin, no. 83, Winter 1999. The list consists primarily of the provinces, provincial capitals and other major cities.

English Place-Name Society

This comprehensive and ongoing effort is now available in 75 volumes. Publications Office, English Place-Name Society, School of English Studies, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD Telephone: 0115 9515919 Fax: 0115 951 5924

Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC)

In Canada, names on official federal government maps have been authorized through the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC). This national committee, which dates back to 1897, now comprises representatives from each province and territory, and from various federal departments concerned with mapping, translation, statistics, archives, defense, national parks and Indian lands. Published in both English and French.

Geoscience Australia Placename Search

National Mapping Division (formerly AUSLIG)

This site searches the Gazetteer of Australia 2001 which is a compilation of over 274,000 geographic names in Australia provided by members of the committee for Geographic Names in Australia. As well as being fully updated by the Commonwealth and State Government authorities, the gazeteer now includes many extra, unofficial Homestead names added by Geoscience Australia.

The Lurline Coltharp Collection of Onomastics

at University of Texas at El Paso Library

The Place Name Survey of the United States has designated this collection as one of two national research centers for toponymics, which is the study of names related to a place or region. A bibliography of the collection is published biannually and may be accessed on the internet.

There are currently 1,800 individual sources listed in the fifth edition which is available also in paper, free upon request from Roberta Arney (Onomastics Bibliographer) at .

The New Zealand Geographic Board

Nga Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa

The process of accepting or rejecting geographical and hydrographic names within New Zealand and its territorial waters is the responsibility of the New Zealand Geographic Board, Nga Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa. The Board recognises that place names should be the product of careful and informed decisions. Constituted under the 1946 New Zealand Geographic Board Act.

Northern Ontario Toponymy Site

Devoted to understanding the meaning of place and feature names in Northern Ontario.

There are currently over 700 place names on this site. Each place listing includes the following where available: official name; latitude and longitude; post office information; short place name history; municipal weblinks, denoted by a map link, which generates a map from the Canadian Geographical Names Data Base (CPCGN) server.

Place Name Servers on the Internet

This site, created and maintained by Arizona State University, has links to he following: United States Place Names; United States State Place Name Sites; World Place Names; Country Place Names; Planetary Place Names; and Just for Fun Place Names.

Place Names Lookup

This is a commercially produced Web site from Melissa Data Corporation. Place Names Lookup includes lakes, streams, populated places, schools, mountain summits, dams, mines, reservoirs, historical buildings, churches and more. There are over 1,000,000 geographic names listed for the United States of America. For each place name, the state, type of place and county are given.

Place Names of Europe

Europe is a relatively small area with a rich mosaic of languages. Divergent forms of place names have often been an element in national rivalries: a sad legacy, clearly, of past conflicts. The compilers of this site, which is accessible in 50 European languages, aim to draw attention to the rich complexity of the European cultural environment as revealed by place names.

Problem Names

A number of names frequently come up which people would like to be documented to the Middle Ages or Renaissance, yet which are purely modern or otherwise problematic. For example, some names which were used in one medieval culture are now incorrectly believed to have been used in others. Other names are mispronounced, or are used as feminine names when they were originally only masculine. Any name about which there are common misconceptions concerning its pre-1600 use may be considered a “Problem Name”. The site contains a number of articles on these names which have been researched by the members of The Academy of Saint Gabriel, detailing what could be discovered about them.

Scottish Place Name Society

The Society, launched in February, 1996, exists for the support of all aspects of toponymic studies in Scotland, and in particular the work of the Scottish Place-Name Database which is maintained at the Universities of St. Andrews and Edinburgh.

USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)

The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), developed by the USGS in cooperation with the U.S. Board on Geographic Names (BGN), contains information about almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States. The federally recognized name of each feature described in the data base is identified, and references are made to a feature's location by state, county, and geographic coordinates. The GNIS is the United States official repository of domestic geographic names information.

Personal Names (Anthroponyms)

Baby Names

This site contains links to additional sites which give the most popular baby names of individual years; names for twins; Shakespearean names; celebrity baby names, etc.

Behind the Name - The Etymology and History of First Names

This site claims that over 700 million names are searchable in most languages. Try it out!

Cool Baby Names

Cool Baby Names is a site for identifying baby names and their meanings.

Eponym: International Names

This truly international site allows one to search for the meaning of a name (or a name for a meaning), receive naming hints and tips and examine names from specific cultures. It contains a series of general (Anglo-oriented) name lists. It contains also an extensive catalog of name links from regions and cultures worldwide and links to hundreds of personal name sites.

Famous Name Changes

Find out who the stars were before they were stars on this site. The categories include actors/entertainers, sports heroes, politicians, religious leaders and others, including models, ballet dancers, opera singers, artists, writers, comedians, and more. All names are listed alphabetically.

Modern British Surnames: Frequency and Distribution

Gives the distribution, incidence and analysis of the surnames of Britain, mainly post-1837, but does not provide the history or etymology of an individual surname.

Popular Baby Names

A compilation of lists of the most popular baby names, created by the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on samples of Social Security number applications. Categories include Top names in recent years, Top 10 names by year of birth for years 1880 through 1997, and Top 1000 names by decade.

Surnames: A Selected List of References about Personal Names

Compiled by Paul J. Connor, Reference Specialist, Library of Congress, Research Guide No. 8.

(Note: the space between bib and guid has an underline)

This bibliography currently contains 148 entries on personal name publications.

Unusual Names

This is a listing of early 2,000 unusual baby names.


American Name Society

The American Name Society was founded in 1951 to promote onomastics, the study of names and naming practices, both in the United States and abroad. It is a non-profit organization that seeks to find out what really is in a name, and to investigate cultural insights, settlement history and linguistic characteristics revealed in names.

Canadian Geographical Names—Noms géographiques

Interesting Articles About Names

Discover interesting information on weird and wonderful names in Canada covering people, places ad things. Topics include: Influences of our past (ex. Remembrances of war: Winnipeg, Winnie, and friends), Geography related (ex. Canadian names around the world), and People, Places, and Things (ex. Artists commemorated on maps). 30 topics altogether.

Canadian Society for the Study of Names/(Société canadienne d'onomastique)

Founded in 1967, the principal objectives of the Canadian Society for the

Study of Names (CSSN) are to promote the study of all aspects of names and naming in Canada and elsewhere, as well as the exchange of ideas among onomatologists, toponymists and scholars in the related fields of literary onomastics and linguistic aspects of names.

The International Council of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS)

The International Council of Onomastic Sciences (ICOS) is the international organization of all scholars who have a special interest in the study of names (place names, personal names, and other proper names). The aim of the Council is the advancement, representation and co-ordination of name research on an international level and in an interdisciplinary context. The site is published in English, French and German.

Jerry Hill Presents Names—Find Yourself or Lose Yourself in Names

A huge site with thousands of links to names in all subject areas including animals, architecture, astronomy, food and beverage, gardens, humor, memorial, military, music, name clubs, nautical, offbeat, religious and a host of others. The site is continually being updated since it first appeared on April 30, 1999. Last update, May 11, 2002. People having questions about names can enter their query and the compilers will do their best to find the answer. Also contains news items, anecdotes, quotations and vignettes about names.

Medieval Names Archive

This collection of articles on medieval and renaissance names is intended to help historical re-creators to choose authentic names." There are sections on choosing a medieval name, names in specific cultures, and names of places, things, and animals.

Restaurant Names

“Dew Drop In and Lettuce Entertain You: Onomastic Sobriquets in the Food and Beverage Industry.”

A paper presented by Lynn C. Hattendorf Westney, at the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities and the Canadian Society for the Study of Names, May 25-26, 2001, 35 Annual Meeting, Université Laval, Québec.

In this paper, examples of international onomastic appellations are presented which demonstrate that the names of contemporary dining and drinking establishments serve as semantic and/or humorous reflections of societal mores.

Who Was Who in North American Name Study

This site was created as one of the ways to celebrate the 50th anniversary (December 29, 2001) of the American Name Society. Coordinated by Alan Rayburn and created by Michael McGoff.


More Websites

Ed Lawson


Supplement to

Lynn C. Hattendorf Westney’s () A Selective Bibliography of International Web Sites Relating to Toponyms, Anthroponyms and Miscellaneous Name Sites for use in Conducting Onomastic Research

Investigators can also make use of the various search engines to locate additional websites. The websites listed were checked at the time of the preparation of this listing.


Cataloging and Indexing of Personal Names

This is an article by Colin Mills, which first appeared in the Society of Indexers Genealogical Group Newsletter, 22, pp. 8-11. It shows the different name models (forename + surname, family name + personal name, forename + personal names, and other variations) along with listings of those countries where that model is followed. List of reference books.

COPAC: Online Catalog Based at the University of Manchester

Has 22 libraries plus the British Library in its database. Researchers can look up items by author, title, or subject. For example, Lithuanian names. Books are listed but articles in periodicals do not seem to appear.

Libweb – Library WWW Servers

The Library at the University of California at Berkeley and Sun Microsystems sponsors the site. Currently lists over 6100 pages from libraries in over 100 countries. Libraries are of many types. There are perhaps thousands of libraries listed where an investigator can look up items by title, author, or subject. Many large libraries show their holdings. In the United States, the Library of Congress is listed; in Canada, the National Library; in Israel, the National and University Library.


Baby Names—Rosenkrantz & Satran

Draws on The Last Word on First Names and Beyond Jennifer and Jason, Madison and Montana by Linda Rosenkrantz and Pamela Redmond Satran. Viewers can specify what characteristics a name should have. Viewers can learn the popularity of a name. The ten most popular names for boys and girls are listed from 1880-2001. Appears to be directed at an American audience.


Allows the user to define the criteria to be used in searching for an appropriate name for a baby. Has synopses of more than 100 social science articles. Additional information sources in the annotated bibliography.

Utah Baby Namer

Lists names that LDS parents give to their children. Lists the most popular. There are about 30 links on naming. One deals with humorous placenames.


Acadian and French-Canadian Style

While directed primarily toward genealogists does have some information on “dit” names and how important they and their equivalents are. Approx. 300 names and their equivalents list, ex. “a person might be Pierre Bourbeau dit Lacourse, which means he had an ancestor named Bourbeau, but he chooses to the name Lacourse instead. "So he is Pierre Bourbeau called Lacourse.” There are also hints looking up relatives. Index. Available in both English and French.

Popular Alberta Baby Names

Lists the most popular names for babies from 1950-1990 at 10 year intervals. List also given for 1995 with link for later listings.

Newfoundland Headstones and Monuments

The website was designed as a comprehensive source of information for the headstones and monuments of Newfoundland, Canada to further the study of genealogy. At this website you will find: database of over 100,000 names and dates from the headstones and monuments of Newfoundland; Software to help search the database for records of interest; location information for 1300 cemeteries including exact latitude and longitude; general information about cemeteries and headstones of Newfoundland; CD's available for purchase containing the digital photographs of the headstones and monuments used to construct the index of names and dates. Currently 79 different CD's are available. Each one contains an average of 1740 photos organized by cemetery and region to increase the likelihood that related individuals will be found on the same CD. Many more are in preparation and will be available soon. Has links to other sites. One site lists the 22 most common first names for men and women and also the 16 most common surnames. Both lists include the frequencies.


Croatia Surnames in Roman Catholic Parishes